Dis/Ability in German Literature - Lecture Series

This series of talks focuses on Dis/Ability Studies both within and beyond German Studies. Organized by Professor Michael Boehringer as part of his Disability in German Literature course, the presentations cover critical disability studies, myths and rhetorics of disability, German literature, and a public reading and discussion.

All talks are free and open to the public and will be hosted on Zoom. Please register for each event separately.

Critical Disability Studies: The Intersections of Theory and Lived Experience

Speaker: Halina (Lin) Haag (MSW, RSW) (WLU)

When: Thursday, January 20, 2022 (11:30-12:50 pm EST)

Event Info: This talk will focus on the epistemological and theoretical foundations of Disability Studies, its pathway to current approaches in research and scholarship, and the implications of those conceptualizations on the lived experiences of people with different abilities.

Registration:  This event has ended.

Disability Myths and Rhetorics

Speaker: Jay Dolmage (UW)

When: Thursday, February 3, 2022 (1:00-2:20pm EST)

Event Info: In this discussion, Professor Dolmage will work through an overview of myths that offer a shorthand for the ways that disability is narrowly represented or depicted across cultures. These myths offer evidence of some of the most basic and omnipresent ways that disability is rhetorically shaped. Laying out these disability wrongs generates a range of possible awareness, critical tools, and disruptions. The fact that disability is so naturally and habitually associated with negativity means that we cannot neglect to question these natural habits, and we cannot forget that the pause, reflection, and reconsideration we might engender will themselves be critical and creative opportunities. The discussion should lead us to identify further examples of such myths and to challenge them.

Did you miss the event? Check out the recording here.

A life worthy of living: Kolmar's Susanna

Speaker: Alec Cattell (Texas Tech U)

When: Thursday, March 17, 2022 (1:00-2:20pm EST)

Event Info:Join Dr. Alec Cattell (Texas Tech University) for an interactive virtual discussion about Gertrud Kolmar's last surviving literary work, the novella Susanna. After exploring the social and political context in which Susanna was written, the conversation will turn to Kolmar's mode of representing the protagonist as a person with a disability as well as the ways in which she negotiates disability myths and deploys disability rhetorics to inspire readers to read stories about disability ethically.

Registration: This event has passed, check out the recording here.

Public Reading & Discussion on Authorship & Disability

Speaker: Mercedes Spannagel

When: Thursday, March 31, 2022 (1:00-2:20 EST)

Event Info: "Wie es klingt, wenn es quietscht". Prize-winning short story by Austrian author Mercedes Spannagel about young competitive fencers, one of whom has lost a leg and is resuming her training with a prosthesis. Reading and discussion in German. 

Registration: This event has passed, check out the recording here.


For any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.